Brooklyn Nets and NBA Teams That Will Return to Playoffs in 2013

Kelly Scaletta@@KellyScalettaFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2012

Brooklyn Nets and NBA Teams That Will Return to Playoffs in 2013

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    The 2013 NBA season will see five new teams in the playoffs—three in the Eastern Conference and two in the West.  

    In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls, the Indianapolis Pacers and the New York Knicks will repeat. 

    Philadelphia, Orlando and Atlanta will not make the playoffs this year. 

    In the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs will repeat.

    The Memphis Grizzlies and the Utah Jazz will not. 

    So who will be the mystery teams returning to the postseason? Read on to find out. 

Golden State Warriors

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    The surprise team of 2013 will be the Golden State Warriors, and they'll be a team that sneaks into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

    They made a trade last year that's the rarest kind of trades—one which benefits both teams. 

    The Warriors will be bringing a balanced attack next year behind a backcourt of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. Their frontcourt will feature rookie Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut. 

    That's a starting five that's deeper than most teams in the NBA. Yes, it requires that two players stay healthy who have struggled doing so, but it also means that, if one of them misses some time, there are plenty of other players who can take up the slack. 

    Golden State will be a much-improved team and will be the next Western Conference team on the rise. 

Milwaukee Bucks

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    The Milwaukee Bucks were an exciting team last year after obtaining Monta Ellis, as they averaged 101 points per game with Ellis in the starting lineup. 

    They were also a much-improved team, briefly jostling for a playoff spot before being outclassed and distanced by the competition.

    However, the Bucks should be even better next year. With key additions Samuel Dalembert and Doron Lamb, the team's bound to fight their way into the postseason in 2013. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    The Minnesota Timberwolves were looking to make a playoff chase last year, but their hopes were dashed when rookie sensation Ricky Rubio went down with a knee injury.

    Next year, Rubio will be back, as will several new acquisitions—Brandon Roy among them. 

    The Wolves will be a more complete and thorough team than they were last year. And Kevin Love will finally get some MVP love next year, as he'll be the most important player in their success, yet again. 

    The Timberwolves will not only be a playoff team, but they'll contend with Memphis and the Lakers for the fourth seed. 

Brooklyn Nets

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    It's interesting that some people view the Nets as having "only" average Joe Johnson. 

    Johnson is not Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade by any stretch, but after that, can you name a shooting guard who's arguably better than Johnson? Sure, there might be a player or two you could make an argument for, but not a decisive one. 

    They aren't really "just adding" Johnson.

    First, Brook Lopez only played three games all season. Second, he didn't play any games with Gerald Wallace, who, incidentally, played only 15 games with the Nets last year.  Third, Wallace only played 12 games with Deron Williams, and the Nets were 6-6 in those 12 games. 

    In all, the Nets put 25 different lineups on the court last season. Only two played more than five games, and the Nets were 9-10 in those 19 games. 

    It would be more accurate to say that the Nets added Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez to a .500 team, which is why the Nets are getting so much respect. 

    Look for them to vie with the Knicks next season for supremacy in New York.